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Quagmire, Phase 2: The Invasion of Pakistan

Posted on Sep 11, 2008

By William Pfaff

The United States has just invaded Cambodia. The name of Cambodia this time is Pakistan, but otherwise it’s the same story as in Indochina in 1970.

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An American army, deeply frustrated by its inability to defeat an anti-American insurgent movement despite years of struggle, decides that the key to victory lies in a neighboring country. In 1970, the problem was the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Cambodia. Today it is Taliban and al-Qaida bases inside Pakistan, which the United States has been attacking from the air for some time, with controversial “collateral damage.”

George W. Bush has now authorized independent ground assaults on Taliban and al-Qaida targets in Pakistan’s Tribal Territories, without consultation with Pakistan authorities. These already have begun.

This follows a period of tension, with some armed clashes, between American and Pakistani military units, the latter defending “Pakistan’s national sovereignty.” Pakistan public opinion seems largely against “America’s war” being fought inside Pakistan.

Washington’s decision was made known just in time for the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that opened the first phase of the “war on terror,” after which “nothing could ever be the same.” We no doubt have now begun phase two.


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The eventual outcome of the American intervention in Cambodia in 1970 was Communist overthrow of the American-sponsored military government in that country, followed by genocide. The future consequences in (nuclear-armed) Pakistan await.

There is every reason to think they may include civil protest and disorder in the country, political crisis, a major rise in the strength of Pakistan’s own Islamic fundamentalist movement and, conceivably, a small war between the United States and the Pakistan army, which is the central institution in the country, has a mind of its own and is not a negligible military force.

In Afghanistan, American and NATO forces have been complaining for many months that victory over the Taliban was impossible so long as there were secure Taliban bases in Pakistan’s largely inaccessible Tribal Territories.

Pakistan’s former president, Pervez Musharraf, was told by his American allies to clean the Taliban out of the Territories or the U.S. Army and NATO would do it for him. U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama made the same threat. John McCain concurred. Musharraf had been looking for a negotiated arrangement with the tribesmen.

Pakistan’s military intelligence services created the Taliban while they were collaborating with the CIA to form the mujahadeen that drove the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. Many in the service still support the Taliban as a useful instrument against India, and to keep Afghanistan out of the hands of more dangerous enemies.

Musharraf was forced out of office. The U.S. brought in exiled former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, expected to be cooperative. She was assassinated, presumably by Islamic extremists. Her widower has been elected to take her place and declares himself an enemy of terrorism. However, the United States has already taken the matter into its own hands.

In the Vietnamese case, the American military command held that it could win the war by invading Cambodia to cut the so-called Ho Chi Minh Trail, along which supplies and arms for the Viet Cong Communist insurrection were being transported. The argument made was that cutting this route would starve the Viet Cong of supplies.

Initially, the unhappy Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia, desperately trying to keep his country out of the Vietnam War, was persuaded to turn a blind eye to U.S. bombing of the trail. A military coup followed in 1970, installing an American puppet general. B-52 saturation bombing ensued, without the desired military effect, but killing many Cambodians.

The joint U.S. and South Vietnamese “incursion” to cut the trail came in April 1970; it simply pushed the supply operations deeper into Cambodia. Richard Nixon said he acted to prove that the United States was not “a second-rate power.” “If, when the chips are down, the world’s most powerful nation acts like a pitiful helpless giant, the forces of totalitarianism and anarchy will threaten free nations and free institutions throughout the world.”

The native Cambodian Khmer Rouge subsequently defeated the American-backed military regime in Phnom Penh. Genocide followed, the “killing fields,” on which the United States turned its back, condemning the triumphant Vietnamese Communist government when it later invaded Cambodia to stop the killing.

Visit William Pfaff’s Web site at

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By Michael Haas, October 6, 2010 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
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Michael Haas’s George W. Bush, War Criminal? The Bush Administration’s Liability for 269 War Crimes was published a few days before Barack Obama took the oath of office. Torture, murder, illegal war, the slaughter of thousands of innocents, abuse of child prisoners—these are only a few of 269 war crimes committed during the Bush administration, which rolled over to the Obama administration on January 20, 2009, to haunt his presidency. The book has the distinction of having inspired a protest in front of the New York Times building because the venerable newspaper refused to publish a review soon after its release.

Although President Obama signed executive orders to stop torture and close Guantánamo, the war crimes have continued virtually unabated ever since. Indeed, the Times Square bomber specifically cited American war crimes as the reason for his action on May 1, 2010.

Newly published America’s War Crimes Quagmire, From Bush to Obama identifies how the war crimes of the Bush administration have continued to be documented by the press while politicians and pundits have withheld criticisms. The book consists of forty-seven essays that were originally blogs on the website Essays are edited appropriately, with occasional postscripts to bring the narrative up to date.

America’s War Crimes Quagmire, From Bush to Obama concludes that war crimes continue because American leaders have only focused on torture, thereby allowing thousands of victims of more than two hundred other war crimes to suffer. Instead, the term “war crimes” is taboo in the United States. And although some Americans have called for prosecution of war criminals, cries from overseas victims have been muffled. Yet the rest of the world, in contrast, is fully aware of American lawlessness.

The book also identifies how the Georgian republic, Russia, and other countries have copied American post-9/11 war crimes. As a result, there is a new era of international barbarism that serves to aid anti-American terrorist recruitment while repudiating the advances achieved in humanizing warfare by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, by the Red Cross, at the Hague Conventions, at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, and by the Geneva Conventions.

The author, Michael Haas, is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee for his work on behalf of human rights. An academic political scientist, he has taught at Northwestern University, Loyola Marymount University, Occidental College, Purdue University, Stanford University, the University of California (Riverside), the University of Hawai‘i, the University of London, and six campuses of California State University, most recently California Polytechnic University (Pomona).

The 278-page book is available from the Publishinghouse for Scholars (P.O. Box 461267, Los Angeles, CA 90046) for $25 (including postage and handling) per domestic copy and $30 for international purchase payable to “Publishinghouse for Scholars.” The book has an extensive set of references, and a comprehensive index. The index contains page numbers that apply to each war crime cited in the book. The 2009 hard-cover book George W. Bush, War Criminal? The Bush Administration’s Liability for 269 War Crimes (published by Praeger) can also be purchased with a simple mouse-click on the website with a PayPal payment option.

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By gerardmulholland, September 14, 2008 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

The comparisons with Hitler & Co are blindingly accuarate. Hitler really did preserve all the institutions and legal norms of the Weimar Republic with the exception that the Oath of Loyalty to the Constitution became the Oath of Loyalty to the President (which Hitler became by Decree on Hindenburg’s death in 1934). He had acquired the power to rule by Decree six weeks after becoming Chancellor. A legal Act of the Reichstag was passed when the Nazis had a temporary majority because all the Communist Members had been arrested after the Reichstag fire. When he committed suicide he actually designated his successors by decree and split his three jobs between three different people again - Grand-Admiral Karl von Dönitz was President, Dr Josef Goebbels was Chancellor and Martin Bormann was Party Führer.
What’s more the warmongers comparisons of 2003 with 1938 were also accurate only not as regards the appeasers.
It was the superpower complaining of intimidation by a small country, amassing a vast army on its borders and demanding surrender with the menace of invasion. In 1938 Hitler got the surrender of Czechoslovakia. In 2003 Cheney didn’t get the surrender of Iraq so invaded it instead.

Whether hitler knew his Roman history or not is a moot point. It certainly looks as though he did. He did exactly what the first Emperor -Julius Caesar’s nephew Octavianus Augustus- did. The legal status of the Roman Republic was never changed. It continued to legally exist under nearly 500 years of the Roman Empire in the West and 1500 years in the East. The Heads of State were the two Consuls. Octavianus was a Consul and a General. The Latin for ‘General’ was ‘Dux’ - the word we translate as ‘Duke’ and the Italians translate as ‘Duce’. Octavianus got the Senate to legally give him the right to rule by Consular Decree. It was by Decree that he gave himself the job of Commander-in-Chief. Before that it had been awarded on a war-by-war basis by the Senate. ‘Commander-in-Chief’ in Latin was ‘Imperator’ - the word we translate as ‘Emperor’. He also gave himself the sole right to nominate all future Consuls (himself and his running mate), the right to nominate all the Judges and the right to nominate the High Priest of Jupiter (he immediately took the latter job - known as ‘Pontifex Maximus’ for himself and a later successor changed it to High Priest of Christianity and gave it to the Bishop of Rome- the title still borne by the Pope which we translate as Roman Pontiff!). He made himself Chief Justice (‘Quaestor’) and Attorney-General (‘Censor’). Finally he gave himself the right to designate in his Will the future Commanders-in-Chief, Consuls, High Priests, Judges and Attornies-General who would succeed him.
All the Senate had to do was say ‘Yes’.

Quickly it became apparent that the only way to get rid of a Commander-in-Chief who was no longer up to it was to kill him. Quite often they then ignored his Will and instead it was the general with the most soldiers in town who got the Senate to “elect” him instead. They never dared to say ‘No’. In fact in all Roman history only a handful of Commanders-in-Chief died in their beds. Yet they all wanted the job!

I keep expecting Cheney to organise a new war sufficiently disruptive in the US for him to arrange the suspension of the Constitution under Emergency powers, the cancellation of the elections and the continuation of the present regime with himself as its only permanent feature.
There’s still 6 weeks!
We shall see!

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By cyrena, September 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment


I just wanted to thank you for your excellent post @ By ThaddeusStevens, September 14 at 9:20 am

It is very helpful to me at least, in a rather long term academic project that does a similar thing in comparing the rise of Hitler’s Totalitarian Regime/State, and what we’ve been undergoing here since the Coup of 2000, that put our own version of the same in place.

So, while I’d noted the similarities that you’ve cited here for my own work, the mention of Hindenburg (signing everything put in front of him) and Vice Chancellor Papen and Göring, puts even more detailed context to it. Another similarity that I noted, (based on my own focus with is from the legal standpoint) is that Hitler’s regime never actually or formally ‘cancelled’ the Weimer Constitution. I mean to say that it was never actually replaced with any similar document more fitting to a totalitarian state than a democratic republic. Instead, like here, they just continued to override parts of it with decrees that basically ignored the structure of it. Again, like here, with torture, habeas corpus, spying, the Bush Doctrine (anticipatory pre-emptive military aggression) the Cheney Doctrine, (Unitary Executive) and on and on, including the multiple ‘signing statements’ that have been used to nullify any law that the Congress might actually pass.

I’m not entirely convinced on number 4 of your list of who is responsible, (in this case the FAA) but only because of my own career background in aviation operations. I can see where they might have been patsies of sorts, but not knowingly involved co-conspirators. The obvious delay in reporting the behaviors of the errant commercial aircraft isn’t quite so ‘obvious’ when viewed from a standard operational perspective. In hindsight, we should probably keep in mind that there were as many as 15 Drills/War Games taking place at the very same time, and these produced, (among other ‘effects’) fake blips on the radar screens of the military personnel, so we can be assured that it would have created the same confusion with the civilian (FAA) personnel. What is also overwhelmingly significant, (at least for me) is that not a single one of those aircrafts’ cockpit crew utilized the standard procedure for notifying ATC/FAA of a highjack. None of them (apparently) squawked that code, or any of the 3 other codes used for emergencies. For an experienced airmen or other aviation professional, this is impossible to reconcile. MAYBE *one* of the aircraft could have somehow failed to do that, but all four??? No.

I’m not suggesting that at least SOME persons at the FAA were not aware and involved, or simply remiss in their duties. But in the greater picture, (and in hindsight) I believe that they too, were simply patsies, and the FAA made for a very good scapegoat. In reality, the issue of the drills and war games taking place on that day should have been information contained in the FAA data base, as well as the dispatch/operations data base of the individual airlines, at LEAST 48 hours in advance. (and this I can personally testify to). Whether or not it *was* is something that should have been part of the original investigation, and apparently was not…which is why that investigation was such a scam whitewash.

Anyway, thanks again for the input and the links.

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By yellowbird2525, September 14, 2008 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

the USA (Gov & politicians) are owned by Corp’s; the bottom line of $ for themselves & nothing for the people; except horrid beyond words exploitation, victimization; the laws PROTECTING the people were removed (NOT years ago as tried to protray on internet) but relatively recently; the laws now protect Corp’s NOT people, NOT consumers; the Gov is made up of “shell” offices, etc: which launder $ thru them; claiming “we are here to PROTECT you” instead, the citizens of the USA & every other country the USA goes into (like Iraq) need protecting from the USA Gov Corps global domination mental mindset; It should be simple: current US Gov AS IT STANDS: against the citizens: for the Corps; & for THEIR profits: OR: for the PEOPLE & for the PLANET. THEY tell you it is THIS or THAT; SO DO I! BECAUSE the USA citizens have NEVER done anything to STOP this insanity: it has gone on with the EXCUSE: “we have done it to the Americans for years”; the votes are bought by bribes (Bush giving $473m to illegally push thru “citizenship” for millions of “undocumenteds” with the EXCUSE “no one is here illegally: we are ALL legal. At the expense of the US citizens: no $ for the vets; disabled vets STILL not receiving a cent after 5 years; those injured unable to return to duty tortured with calls 5 & 6 times a day every day to “return” the sign up payment; news censored & LIES to “propegate” their agenda; police force LYING under oath & testifying (falsely) and MANUFACTURING “evidence” shown to be lies: but that’s right along with the “truth is relative” whatever THEY say is truth even under oath IF it promotes THEIR agenda; 911 HAD to be to “unite” the people of the nation so that the aggressiveness could be “made palatable” to the citizens of the USA; folks get MAD if anything is said about these horrid acts: WHY? if you do NOT address the problem: you can NEVER have solutions!

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By ThaddeusStevens, September 14, 2008 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

TheRealfish said “The people who killed well over 3,000 U.S. citizens on home soil—a criminal that Pakistan has done less than zero to help us apprehend. Then, it was (as Mr. Pfaff writes) an alleged attempt to cut an enemy supply line.”

The number of U. S. Citizens who (I am assuming the reference is to Sept, 11, 2001)were killed is actually 2106 by official counts.

The folks responsible are:
1. Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States
2. George Bush, President of the United States
3. The folks who were inside of NORAD on September 11,2001 and provided for causing that organization to fail to scramble interceptors.
4. Folks inside the FAA who have yet to offer a reasonable explanation for inexplicably long delays in notifying the military upon discovering the problems with the flights on September 11,2001 . The delays include an 18-minute delay in reporting Flight 11 and a 39-minute delay in reporting Flight 77.
5. Mayor Giuliani, who had Privileged Warning of unprecedented collapse. He has stated that he was at the base of the Twin Towers just minutes before the explosive collapse of the South Tower and then went to 75 Barclay Street—where he had a makeshift command center.

The word fascist is not much liked these days in reference to American politics. I don’t know of another word that fits the situation because there are too many similarities to American history and German history as Hitler cemented his place in power in the 1930’s.
A line from the history of Germany will suffice:
  President Hindenburg had fallen under Hitler’s spell and was signing just about anything put in front of him. He signed an emergency decree that put the German state of Prussia into the hands of Hitler confidant, Vice Chancellor Papen. Göring as Minister of the Interior for Prussia took control of the police. Prussia was Germany’s biggest and most important state and included the capital of Berlin.

Replace Hindenburg with George Bush and Hitler with Dick Cheney and other folks who have access to the Oval Office (like Condaleeza Rice) and the similarities are vast.

Here are some other similarities:
1.)  Powerful and Continuing Nationalism:  Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
2.)  Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights: Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3.)  Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause:  The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

I’ll stop here; the rest of this is at these two sites.
Attributes of fascism that match American society in the last few decades-possible going bact to Polk’s invasion of Mexico.

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By Jim Yell, September 14, 2008 at 7:06 am Link to this comment
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Thanks to our invasion of Iraq and may I remind once more it is one of the few countries that did not have anything to do with 9/11 our military can’t even adequately address the needs of Afganistan and now G. W. the great military genius has launched attacks into Pakistan a very fragile country.

The probably results will be more radical response by the radical islamist in Pakistan and there isn’t enough of unity of the country and not enough middle class to block the ambitions of the radical islamists. Doing anything that gives the radical islamists a clear validation for their hate of America will not serve our purposes.

Attacking a country that is presented as an ally is going to have unpleasant consequences. The government of Pakistan will not be able to ignore this attack on their country and if they don’t respond negatively to it, they will be removed and Pakistan will become a killing zone with the power to sting us where we live. That is what happens when a country has a thoughtless and irresponsible President who thinks he talks to GOD.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 14, 2008 at 2:34 am Link to this comment

re: the link listed below has been pulled from You Tube by blackwater. Sorry.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 14, 2008 at 2:29 am Link to this comment

In the mercenary age of greed and extended violence, strategic moves into places like Pakistan, is simply additional kibble for the dog bowl of military fantasy.

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By Leefeller, September 13, 2008 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

Quagmire of death to the citizens and their loved ones and a huge money pot for opportunists in their dollar sign agendas. Create fear, fester it and make money on fear.  No comparison to horror films, reality is for some a real horror, while others count dollar signs, interesting how it really works out, I mean the numbers of people on either side.

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By gerardmulholland, September 13, 2008 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

There was much discussion in Margaret Thatcher’s time about copying America’s attacks on laos and cambodia by raiding into the Republic of Ireland to pursue the IRA. Strange to relate, the US Government strongly counselled against it. With menaces. Now I wonder why?
In the 30 years of Irish terrorism against the UK both Catholic and Protestant American-financed terrorists exacted a terrible toll. Over 3000 dead civilians. Over 2000 dead military. UK joins America in mourning your dead of 911. Won’t you join UK in mourning our dead for whose deaths many of you paid? And will you now, at last, help bring closure to the grieving families by extraditing Irish terrorists to UK to face justice?

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By TheRealFish, September 12, 2008 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

Wow. Having lived during those times (my draft number was 3 places beyond the “report for duty” point in the last year of the Vietnam draft, 47 places deep into the “report for duty” point from the year before…), and having protested the Cambodian incursion, I find it very, very strange to not share those feelings over this.

Back then it was a tactic, just like the much debated “surge” in Iraq. But, this time, there is a specific target: The people who killed well over 3,000 U.S. citizens on home soil—a criminal that Pakistan has done less than zero to help us apprehend. Then, it was (as Mr. Pfaff writes) an alleged attempt to cut an enemy supply line.

Those two alleged strategies are nothing alike, even if the international ramifications are similar.

However, there *is* one way the two actions are in absolute accordance, and one that should be the focus of outrage.

Both actions were committed for purely and nakedly local political reasons. That is the absolute sin. It is now being reported that Bush the Lesser has committed these incursions in an attempt to apprehend Osama Bin Laden before the November elections.

NOT to bring a most vile criminal and mass murderer to justice. No. That is absolutely secondary to his motive to sway the elections. Even bringing this mass murderer of American citizens (as well as many foreigners—including Muslims) is being turned into a pure piece of political theater to satisfy the fascistic needs of our current president—especially the need to keep the now-imperial presidency in “party” hands (as well as the Department of NeoCon Justice, put one or two more lapdogs to the imperial State on the Supreme Court, etc.).

And the political goal? So that we can hear the words “I’m John McCain, and I approve this message.”

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By penicillin, September 12, 2008 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment
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And of course you people do realise that pakistan has the means to deliver a nuke to the USA and in that situation all the war bragging is no good, Peace!

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By dale Headley, September 12, 2008 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment
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We should be thankful for the quagmire that is Iraq and Afghanistan.  Otherwise, the neocons would have us invading the entire middle east - for starters.  But they haven’t given up.  Their surrogate, ,John McCain, is clearly prepared to leave us in Iraq until such day that it will become a colony from which we can launch attacks against Syria, Iran, Pakistan, and, eventually, Saudi Arabia.  Israel will take care of Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.  Then we will be able to shut off the oil to the rest of the world and become the masters of the universe.  Wait!  There’s a fly in this ointment.  The rest of the world isn’t stupid.  While we are gaining control of the world’s oil supply, the rest of the world, excluding the U.S., is converting rapidly to alternative forms of energy.  We are likely to be stuck with a white (black) elephant and a ruined economy at home, not to mention many thousands of dead soldiers.
    All Americans should read Gibbons’ “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.”  It shows very clearly what is going to happen to us if we continue on this disastrous course to rule the world.

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By A Khokar, September 12, 2008 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

Global war on Terrorism is a unique ‘policy of fallacy and deception’ and 9/11 is US self inflicted wound; Taliban is a blown up, a stateless imaginary enemy placed to live in cuckoo land with its Al Qaeda portrayed as the master mind; a lynch pin, a tool implied and to be used for all sort of eventualities.

After Afghan war, Taliban were the crippled and destitute force. They needed resuscitation and a help. US came up with that help. They were attracted to the US bate of ‘fallacy and deception’ and were the first to fell prey to this snare.

Al Qaeda of Taliban was blown up into a Myth of Terror which later took a shape of ideology and thus a full fledge global war on terrorism hatched. Those were the days and here we are today;——From Middle East to Pakistan; all the countries are under the siege and in the clutches of the savage oppressor who is on its rampage; who knows well that “Savagery and violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.” says Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn a Russian Novelist.

It is another anniversary time of 9/11 and we see that all the colours of the rainbow of glory hanging above the horizons of Washington DC and New York are the colours drawn from the spillage of the blood of Muslims of Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Having secured the foot hold in Iraq and turning it as subsidiary luna state of US; oppressor is finally preparing to land in for the ultimate anchorage—Pakistan; to turn this land into hers formidable base to complete his hegemonic aims and be able to check the new emerging powers; China and India as well to see Russian confined in their own four walls.

How best the country like Pakistan shows their wisdom and zeal to deter the enemy depends; how potent they hold them selves together and stand brave and united in the face of tyranny.

US only move in the lands which offer them a cake walk.

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By Hulk2008, September 12, 2008 at 8:13 am Link to this comment
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Looks like W is belatedly taking Obama’s suggestion to hit the baddies where they hide out.  But the article does raise the spectre of inflaming the region, not just one country.  Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand ..... Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan .... whatever, where-ever. Another “strategy” of lighting up the whole region to play whack-a-mole with tribal jerks.  The Pashtun are an extended “family” with members in several countries across the region.  Their tribes compete with the other so-called ethnics whether they are Tajiks or Kurds or Sunnis or Shia.  The whole place looks like pulverized concrete and NObody would care a lick except for the steadily diminishing oil reserves under its surface.  100 years from now this stuff will be a footnote in an old history book -  if anybody is still left un-nuked to write it down. 
  Bottom Line:  find other sources of energy and get the heck outta Dodge - leave that godforsaken place and its surly little inhabitants behind in the dust.

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By Marc Schlee, September 11, 2008 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment
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VP candidate Sarah Palin is suggesting that the US might go to war with Russia.

Let’s vote on it.



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By cyrena, September 11, 2008 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

•  “I wish someone would provide an analysis of how the Pashtun militia is related to the Paki Army.  Are they trained in the same schools and bases?  Are Pashtun militia members in any way connected with the chain of command over the Paki nukes?”


I wish this as well. I wish I had time to search it out myself, in order to be able to provide some sort of an analysis, if only for myself. But alas..I know little about this area of the globe, aside from what I’ve studied through some academic focus and just a following of current events.

Still, the one thing I *do* know, (or obsess over) is the fact that Pakistan *does* have this nuclear arsenal, and I’m well connected to the efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons. I’ve been committed to THAT for as long as I can remember. So obviously, Pakistan does worry me. The threat of global terrorism, (which has increased somewhere in the area of about 600% since Dick Bush declared their ‘war OF terror”) *is* a genuine issue that we should be concerned about, but because of the cynicism that provides the foundation for this bogus ‘war on terror’, many Americans have come to the conclusion (and rightly so I would add) that there is no such thing as a ‘war on terror’ and it’s been nothing more than a stupid slogan for what these determined efforts to force Global US hegemony by means of military aggression. But there’s a danger in becoming that desensitized to what *IS* a genuine danger to the world, because ‘terrorism’ is NOT NEW. It’s an age old thing, but these are very serious weapons.

I don’t know that the Pakistanis, or the Pashtuns are any more likely to unleash such weapons as any other country that has them. I mean, we’ve got more than anybody, and Dick Bush is a total maniac. Still, the larger point is that the area is not just unstable, but volatile, and the US presence has made it far worse.

So yes, I wish someone would do an analysis on this as well.

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By Kilong Ung, September 11, 2008 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment
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As a Khmer Rouge genocide survivor, I am sad that 2 million Cambodians died (including my parents who were starved to death), but the world learned nothing.  Human race continues to repeat history and self-destruct.  I am in agreement with Mr. William Pfaff.  This is a no brainer… just go back and look at Cambodia in the context of the Vietnam War.

Kilong Ung
Leverage the past to make the world a better place, one person at a time.

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By Persona non grata, September 11, 2008 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment
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The United States has just invaded Cambodia. The name of Cambodia this time is Pakistan, but otherwise it’s the same story as in Indochina in 1970.

Except of course for the fact that Pakistan is the proud owner of several-dozen nuclear-weapons.

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By Leefeller, September 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

Pakistan may be a false road, Palin has made a profound speech that we may have to attack Russia, to protect Alaska, no maybe she was referring to Georga.

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By DHR, September 11, 2008 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

Nothing has changed their ability to shove it in our faces while they interpret it with lies promoted by a complicit ‘free’  press.

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By mackTN, September 11, 2008 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment
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It’s rather amazing how Obama’s rivals denounce his judgement on the war, then follow his thinking.  When Obama stated that he would go into Pakistan to look for bin laden, he was denounced for foolishly opining an invasion into a sovereign and ally.

He should be able to make much hay on this during debates.

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By heavyrunner, September 11, 2008 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

An essential fact of the situation to the east of Afghanistan is that the artificial border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is an artifact of British Imperialism, was never respected by the Pashtuns, whose home lands form a wide corridor between the land of the Afghans and the Punjab plains of the Paki tribes. 

This area is remote, hostile and populated with some of the most fierce fighters and toughest hombres ever to live. 

Add to that that Pakistan has a population of 160 million, more people than live in Russia, and they have nuclear weapons.

The Pashtun areas have never been under Islamabad’s control, and the Paki army is not allowed to operate there under the terms of the 1947 Partition agreement that created India and Pakistan out of former British India.  The Pashtuns have their own militia.

I wish someone would provide an analysis of how the Pashtun militia is related to the Paki Army.  Are they trained in the same schools and bases?  Are Pashtun militia members in any way connected with the chain of command over the Paki nukes?

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By Crimes of the State Blog, September 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

If the events were to be investigated by independent law enforcement people, there could be treason trials for the crimes of 9/11.

The facts of 9/11

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By jobart, September 11, 2008 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Weve been “on the look out” for the “false falg” that might precipitate “Marshall Law” cancelling the elections.
First….big & real bad-IRAN !!  Next…...“Russia/Georgia” “We WILL not stand for such inhuman actions”..U.S. of A. !! Now….Pakistan” “we give/gave you Money/appropriate bribe (BTW-that’s how the repugs/noecons think!!), “So you’ll just “sit back and shut up” while we do what ever we want in your country or any others that we “buy”.
I don’t know about the rest of you guys but I’m starting to feel like I’m one on the “Players”
side in a “Three-Card-Monte” game being dealt by real “Pro’s”. Damn, those rich people !!!!!
BTW - my “retype” to submit starts with the word “behind”. Are they just “breaking my balls here? smile

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By Crimes of the State Blog, September 11, 2008 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

“The name of Cambodia this time is Pakistan, but otherwise it’s the same story as in Indochina in 1970.”

That’s a blunt, obvious metaphor, but not correct in the slightest.

The Pakistan situation is far more complex and central, and you fail to note the partnership between Pakistan’s dictatorship and the US dictators—I mean ‘elected’ rulers.

Pakistan has been a key partner to Washington in CREATING the “Al Qaeda” boogeyman threat which has morphed into the bogus “Global War on Terrorsm.”  Pakistan, and its intelligence service the ISI, has done the dirty work of recruting, training, funding and protecting these assets, which is why they are still around and even stronger.  They are not only tolerated by Washington, they are required in order to provide CASSUS BELLIS in various strategic nations on the US hit list.

There is no direct analogy with your example. 

And this is far more dire.  They are creating the enemies they use as an excuse to usher in global fascism.  Both US parties are on board this fraud.

That said, it’s even more tenuous because Pakistan has nukes, which were developed with the green light of the USA. The Khan network was protected and this was worked into the US plans so that nuclear “terrorism” would become a realistic “threat” to be combated in the manner dictated by Washington (as in setting up Iran for annihilation).

With the stepping down of Musharaf, the partner in crime on 9/11, Washington may be stepping up pressure on the new Pak government, so as to throw it off guard.  That is a very likely reason for the border incursion (which was not all that spectacular by recent standards).

Washington wants to keep its options open, and use various pressure points on the new regime—NOT TO INVADE.  Not to solve the “terror” problem.

That said, US military leaders would no-doubt want ot invade Pakistan.  The treasonous elite, however, would see that as the end of the “war on terrorism,” which will not be tolerated.  They want this fake “war” to drag out forever. 

The “War on Terror” Fraud, and the Washington Post’s “New Approach”

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By msgmi, September 11, 2008 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why would shock & awe by outside forces be acceptable to the Pakistanis. This tactic is not in the best interests of Pak-gov’t stability and a windfall recruiting tool for the extremists.

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By Folktruther, September 11, 2008 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Both Obama-Biden and Bush-Cheney are in favor of war with Pakistan.  Pakistan has a hundred eighty million people, Cambomodia had less than ten.  Pakistan has nuclear weapons. Pakistan is on the Chinese border and partially allies with China.

Both American parties are on an historical trajectory toward thermonuclear war.

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By Stephen Smoliar, September 11, 2008 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

William Shawcross based his book on the fact that “Cambodia was often referred to as a ‘sideshow.’”  It “was always off stage, away from the light.”  I agree with the quagmire analysis, but not necessarily the Cambodia analogy.  If we want to look “away from the light,” we probably need to look towards Georgia (as other Truthdig pieces have observed):

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